A white circular building with towering pillars and greek lettering across the front facade
May 29, 2023 / Article

Science Is A Team Sport. Behind Every Innovation Is The Work Of Many.

The Acadian Open Academy brings together diverse minds so impossible today becomes possible tomorrow.

In September 2020, Acadian Plant Health officially announced the launch of the Acadian Open Academy. A scientific advisory board of 3rd party experts that would validate, enhance and contribute to understanding more deeply the mode of action behind Acadian’s current products, as well as those in development.

Today, Acadian Plant Health continues to connect with these bright minds with a goal to generate breakthroughs in scientific understanding and accelerate the discovery of new and novel solutions. This collaboration is vital to advancing modern agriculture and the biostimulant industry.

Biostimulants are complex in nature, and overall, there hasn’t been a lot of information shared about how these products actually work. Acadian has over 30 years of research focused on understanding the different biological processes that their seaweed extract biostimulant has on the plant, with more than 80 peer-reviewed published papers. But the agricultural challenges of today require more. Farmers need to deal with seemingly impossible challenges such as climate change, soil erosion and biodiversity loss. It’s why Acadian continues to seek out scientists who can give expertise that contributes to further their knowledge.  

An example of this is a recent collaboration with KeyGene – a technology company focused on research with expertise in plant physiology, molecular biology, and bioinformatics. “We already know that our products influence natural pathways within the plant. But we’re interested in digging deeper to further expand our knowledge on how different application methods affect gene expression within various crops to improve crop development, productivity, and stress tolerance,” says Dr. Holly Little, Director of Research & Development at Acadian Plant Health. “This allows us to better able to predict how they will perform in the field on different crops, under different growing conditions.”

Additionally, Acadian is investigating the impact of abiotic stress on plant growth and physiology. Through international partnerships with academic researchers such as Dr. Shabala, Acadian is working with leading stress physiology researchers who are pioneers in understanding the impact of abiotic stress on plant growth and physiology. An important piece of the puzzle when trying to solve the impacts of climate change.

“Preliminary results have shown on a cellular level, how Acadian seaweed extract enables improved osmotic adjustment under stress. Continued work here will help us better understand the mode of action within Acadian products that occur on a physiological level within the plant, which will lead to advanced new product development with the combination of seaweed extracts and other biostimulants that act synergistically within the plant.”

And when it comes to soil health and biodiversity? Acadian has published work on this on nature.com with a study specifically focused on their seaweed extract on soil microbes. “Our goal was to evaluate two things,” says Dr. Holly Little. “First, does the seaweed extract have a direct effect on increasing growth and colonization of mycorrhizal fungi, and second, whether it promotes the symbiotic relationship between the plants and the fungi. Our results showed that indeed there was a direct correlation between our seaweed extracts and the growth of the fungi as well as enhancement of the plant-microbe symbiosis.”

Understanding this was a positive step forward in seeing how their seaweed extracts can improve soil health. But even further analysis was needed. Acadian wanted to see if there was a tie between soil health and how plants tolerate abiotic stress. To do this, Acadian partnered with a world-renowned soil ecologist, Dr. Fierer. “By exploring this in different microbial populations, it will enable us to predict the effect of our biostimulants on various crops under different soil types and soil microbial populations while also deepening the understanding of the interactions between our biostimulants, plants, and microbes. This ground-breaking work will provide new scientific insight into how biostimulants interact with both the plant and microbes to impart abiotic stress tolerance to crop plants,” says Dr. Little.

“By leveraging a diverse set of expertise, we are able to tackle the greatest challenges in agriculture,” says James Maude, SVP Portfolio Development Group. “We are invested in transforming modern agriculture and pursuing breakthroughs that could disrupt current models. We believe we can benefit both plant and planet by seeking technology, science, and collaboration.”

To learn more about the Acadian Open Academy, visit https://acadianplanthealth.com/about-us/acadian-open-academy/.